Study data published in the journal Nature Communications describe a gene therapy technique that could potential prevent metastasis from breast cancer, Science Daily reported Wednesday.
"The idea is that if the cancer is diagnosed early enough, then in addition to treating the primary tumour [with chemotherapy], one could also treat with specific microRNAs, in order to prevent the spread of cancer cells that cause metastasis," said study author Natalie Artzi.
In the study, the investigators performed an extensive bioinformatics analysis to compare three datasets, identifying a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), named rs1071738, which influences metastasis.
The researchers uncovered that the SNP disrupts binding of miR-96 and miR-182, which in turn prevents the microRNAs from regulating expression of Palladin.
In an in vitro analysis, the investigators demonstrated that expression of the microRNAs suppressed Palladin levels, resulting in reduced migration and invasion by cancer cells.
The research team confirmed the findings in mice in which miR-96 and miR-182 were delivered via nanoparticles, observing a dramatic reduction in breast cancer metastasis in the animals, while the addition of cisplatin resulted in reductions in both primary tumour growth and metastasis.
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